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'Farha' (2022)

Directed by Darin J. Sallam

Farha is a story that tells the harsh reality of a young girl (the titular character) who makes a choice to stay with her father as Israeli forces invade her Palestinian village in 1948.

Farha is a clever girl who wants to educate herself and go to school against her father's wishes, who wants her to marry a local boy. Just as he finally grants her wish by enrolling her at a school in a nearby city - tragedy strikes and Israeli forces move in. What happens next is an extremely harrowing series of events are the inhabitants of the village are 'displaced'. There is no big budget here. No expensive camera trickery or visual effects. This is a straight up story about how Palestine was brutalized by Israel. And it's not for the feint hearted in the slightest. Karam Taher is terrific in her first ever acting role.

Director Darin J. Sallam is Jordanian (the film was shot in Jordan), and in her first narrative feature, smartly directs on what must have been a shoestring budget, from the point of view of Farha, which we learn at the end is based on a true story (Sallam learned about it from her Palestinian father). It's bleak and makes the viewer angry. But it's emotional, relevant and needs to be shown to a wide audience.

File this under important stories that need to be told and listened to.